Sep 2015

KC Star feature “Roma: Music of the Gypsy”

The Classical Beat: World cultures, classics with a twist and superstar performers highlight the season - Patrick Neas

One of the marvelous things about music is its ability to take you to the far corners of the world simply through sound.

In October at the RecordBar, Ensemble Iberica (led by guitarist Beau Bledsoe) will present “Roma: Music of the Gypsy,” which will trace the wanderings of the Roma people from their homeland of India, through Central Asia and throughout Europe.

“The prevailing linguistic wisdom is that the Roma were an Indian military tribe,” Bledsoe said. “They still have a lot of military-style Sanskrit words in their language. Even when someone is speaking Calo, the Spanish Gypsy dialect, they still have those words in there.”

Ensemble Iberica is in its second year, and so far the group has been warmly received for its innovative programming, which draws on Hispanic cultures from around the world.

Bledsoe, the founder and artistic director of Ensemble Iberica, is a Kansas City treasure whose immense experience with both the European classical repertoire and non-Western music is rare and deep. He goes to the source to learn his craft. For example, he has studied Gypsy music in Mexico, Spain and Turkey.

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